NEFFA, a new fashion factory introduces a revolutionary automated production method

The fashion industry doesn’t just have a material problem; has a broader systemic problem that requires a holistic solution. NEFFA founders Aniela Hoitink and Nicoline van Enter are trying to solve the systemic fashion crisis. Realizing that the way we currently make garments is difficult to automate, especially fully sewing, the founders of NEFFA came up with a solution that could solve the problem.

No plastics or other harmful chemicals are needed

With extensive experience in the clothing and footwear industry, Hoitink and Van Enter realized that biofabricated materials grown by liquid fermentation could make sewing obsolete. And not only that: they also offer new design possibilities that have never been possible before.

The digitally automated process solution, recently launched during Biofabricate at NYC and the Global Change Award in Stockholm, works directly in 3D, using large data or body scans. Offering options that apply all kinds of parametric textures in the blink of an eye, the digital design interface enables local and complete 3D production of clothing, footwear and fashion accessories from biofabricated materials such as mycelium or algae. It is also worth noting that the method of production does not require much heat or pressure, so the molds can be like blisters.

Explaining further, “Robots apply biomass around the mold, allowing different thicknesses of material throughout the product. In this way, additional reinforcement is not necessary, so in addition to eliminating cutting waste, the number of required separate parts is also minimized.

The material is then dried and remains flexible but firm. The whole process, from growing the materials to the final products, takes just seven days, which is an astonishing speed compared to the current complex fashion supply chain. In addition, the production of the product does not require any plastic or other harmful chemicals.

The future has arrived

Advocating next-generation biomaterials such as mycelium created to offer next-generation design options, the founders are working with a mycelium, called MycoTEX. NEFFA also works with other biomaterials that can be grown through liquid fermentation, such as algae or collagen.

No longer a speculative fantasy, NEFFA will present its first robotic production cell later this year along with renowned German mechanical engineering based on MycoTEX. They work with existing robotic systems that are already used in the fashion industry, so companies do not have to invest much in new equipment to implement their method.

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Founder of FashNerd.com editor-in-chief, Muchaneta is currently one of the leading influencers writing about merging fashion with technology and wearable technology. She has also given lectures at Premiere Vision, Munich Fabric Start and Pure London, to name a few. In addition to working as a fashion innovation consultant for various fashion companies such as LVMH Atelier, Muchaneta has also contributed to Vogue Business, is a senior associate at The Interline and an associate lecturer at London College of Fashion, UAL.

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